Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Understanding Inclusion within Diversity: Meaning, Model, and Practice

Version 1 : Received: 25 June 2020 / Approved: 28 June 2020 / Online: 28 June 2020 (08:50:35 CEST)

How to cite: Brix, K.; Lee, O.; Stalla, S. Understanding Inclusion within Diversity: Meaning, Model, and Practice. Preprints 2020, 2020060323. Brix, K.; Lee, O.; Stalla, S. Understanding Inclusion within Diversity: Meaning, Model, and Practice. Preprints 2020, 2020060323.


The diversity and inclusion discussion permeates many sectors of society. Within this dialogue, science and scientists are acutely aware of the value of diversity and the need for inclusion. While demographic diversity in science has received considerable recent attention, very little research and understanding exists on inclusion. Our study presents empirical data on the meaning of inclusion using a crowdsourcing approach that sought responses to the question “What does inclusion mean to you?”. The most prominent concepts were those of empathy, warmth, support, love, acceptance and curiosity; diverse perspectives; and participation. We clustered conceptual elements of inclusion into four themes: access and participation, embracing diverse perspectives, a welcome environment, and team belonging. On the basis of these data, we theorize a conceptual framework model from which inclusion may be put into practice. Our model suggests a dynamic process of inclusion operating from principal structural elements of 1) a foundation that involves place, access and participation, and space; 2) reciprocal engagement as an engine for inclusion; and 3) expression of inclusion as culture. The framework model demonstrates a means by which the practice of diversity can be more than shifts in demographic statistics, and instead promote the full expression of benefits derived when the many dimensions of diversity are truly included.

Supplementary and Associated Material Inclusion data concepts


diversity and inclusion; science; social pain; theory of inclusion; framework model of inclusion; practice of inclusion; meaning of inclusion


Social Sciences, Sociology

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